How Gratitude Works at Work

Published on February 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

ThankyouIn 2014, Mark Zuckerberg, set a
goal to write a daily handwritten (or emailed) thank-you note. Obviously, Mark was making an effort to take better care of others but he was also taking care of himself. Research indicates that people who practice gratitude report significant benefits:



Lower blood pressure and stronger immune systems; more positive emotions such as joy, optimism, and happiness; behaving more generosity and with compassion; and feeling less lonely and isolated.

Conversely, studies show that “appreciated” employees are: More collaborative and less contentious;persist at difficult tasks longer; rate peers more favorably; and are more likely to find mutually beneficial solutions.

There is a not-so-obvious reason toddlers are taught “please” and “thank-you” soon after they’ve mastered “Mama” and “Papa”. Expressing gratitude is not only polite; it’s a critical social survival mechanism. Those magical words convey appreciation and value to others. And when others feel valued and appreciated, they tend to cooperate.

For some, expressing gratitude comes naturally; while others have to work at it. When coaching both novice and seasoned managers, I encourage them to practice some form of gratitude every day. Some managers set a goal reaching out to one person a day, expressing some form of genuine and specific appreciation. “Thanks for checking your email at 6:00am today. Totally above and beyond what I expect but so grateful that you saved my Powerpoint presentation for the breakfast meeting!” That tiny step goes a long way in the journey of establishing rapport and trust with others.

This post was written by Lisa Jacobson

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